Cops rescue two children 'kidnapped for ransom', arrest four men
Four men were arrested at the weekend for allegedly kidnapping two children, aged 10 and 14, during a house robbery in Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga.
The children, whose father is a businessman according to police, were kidnapped on Thursday and held hostage in a house at Limpopo. The men aged between 21 and 50 allegedly demanded a ransom for their release, said provincial spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi. A manhunt has been launched for a fifth suspect who is believed to be on the run.
“The suspects also made off with personal belongings including a vehicle (Nissan Livina) and an undisclosed amount of cash. The stolen vehicle was, however, found abandoned not far from the victims' house and the children were driven in a different vehicle.
“The suspects contacted the children's parents and demanded a ransom for their release. The matter was reported to the police and a manhunt ensued in which a team comprising various formations within the police was activated,” said Hlathi.
He said police followed up on information on the children’s whereabouts on Friday. The team made a breakthrough resulting in the four suspects being arrested and the safe release of the children, Hlathi said. The suspects were found in possession of a firearm and items believed to have been taken during the robbery.
“A grey Hyundai Elantra (sedan) which was used by the men to carry out their plan was confiscated as well,” he said.
The group was expected to appear at the Mdutjana magistrate's court on charges of house robbery, kidnapping and unlawful possession of a firearm on Monday.
Hlathi said they could be linked to other cases.
Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Mondli Zuma applauded the team on the swift arrest and for ensuring the children's safety.
“We are proud of these members for acting swiftly in ensuring that the children were returned to their parents unharmed. We urge the public to help with information that could lead to the whereabouts of the outstanding suspect,” said Zuma.